Future of the EU: the death of Euroscepticism?

14.11.2019 18:00 - 14.11.2019 20:00
Milano Foreign Press Association
Postato da Amministrazione
Categorie: EU
Visite: 302
A Battle of Ideas Europe event in partnership with the Milan Foreign Press Association. Free to attend, just register here.

About this Event

La Stampa Estera di Milano, in collaborazione con la Academy of Ideas di Londra, ospiterà una 'Battle of Ideas' il 14 novembre nella propria sede di Milano.

L'Academy propone dibattiti incisivi sui temi più caldi dei nostri tempi, come quello scelto per la Battle a Milano: 'Il futuro dell'Ue: la morte dell'Euroscetticismo?'

Commentatori autorevoli esamineranno l'apparente fallimento dei partiti sovranisti in Europa, e le prospettive per l'Unione nei prossimi anni; senza i paraocchi, però, affrontando le accuse di mancanza di democrazia e la necessità di andare incontro alle istanze popolari di fronte alla crisi della globalizzazione.

La partecipazione è libera, ma occorre registrarsi. Il dibattito si svolgerà in lingua inglese.

The Foreign Press of Milan, in collaboration with the Academy of Ideas in London, will host a Battle of Ideas Europe event on 14 November in its Milan office.

The Academy proposes incisive debates on the hottest topics of our times, such as the one chosen for the Battle in Milan: 'The future of the EU: the death of Euroscepticism?'

Please note that the debate will be in English.


A notable development is a new reluctance among Eurosceptic parties to push for a break from the EU. As one commentary put it, ‘instead of promising to protect people from the European Union, populists have started promising to make the EU protect the people’. In 2016, at least 15 parties across Europe campaigned for a referendum on their country’s EU membership. Yet today, populists in countries such as France, Sweden, the Netherlands, Italy and Germany seem focused on securing change from within the EU. The UK’s long battle to leave demonstrates the difficulties of a state extracting itself from the EU. Has this, along with the experience of Syriza – recently voted out of power in Greece after failing to resist the onerous bailout conditions – dealt a fatal blow to support for a return to national and popular sovereignty?

The new mood was captured Matteo Salvini, leader of the League in Italy – now in opposition – who promoted the idea of a ‘Common-Sense Europe’: not an end to the EU, but a changed EU, one that focuses more on security, manages immigration more closely and takes a ‘nation first’ approach to the economy. But given that in the EU Parliament the League belongs to an alliance outnumbered by pro-EU parties, how can it challenge EU legislation and promote national priorities on the likes of migration policy, deficit spending and monetary instruments such as Mini-BOTs? More broadly, how will it create genuine change, given a toothless parliament where MEPs cannot propose legislation?

And what of the EU itself? How viable is ‘reform’ and can this inject a democratic purpose into the EU? After all, the much-promoted Spitzenkandidat party groupings voting system for electing officials fell apart immediately when the new Commission president was imposed via deals cooked up within the Council of Ministers. The Democracy in Europe Movement 2025 believes that a citizen-oriented New Deal for Europe can help the EU can become democratic force for good. Others argue, however, that not only is the EU undemocratic but it is inherently anti-democratic. How can the EU be democratic, they say, when its role is to constrain popular sovereignty and democracy, and to separate the seat of power and control in Europe from any expression of the popular will?

How should we see the future of the EU and the nations within it? Can a case be made for the idea of ‘remain and reform’ and for an evolved, more democratic EU where nation states function democratically, taking account of the will of their national population? Or does the EU remain an empire in decay – one that will undermine the desires expressed through popular sovereignty?


David Adler

policy leader fellow, School of Transnational Governance, European University Institute; policy director, Democracy in Europe Movement, DiEM25

Dr Marta Dassù

Senior Advisor European Affairs, Aspen Institute Italia; co-author, Anglo Nostalgia: The politics of emotion in a fractured West

Claire Fox MEP

non-attached member of the European Parliament for North West England

Andrew Spannaus

journalist and political commentator; chairman, Milan Foreign Press Association; author, Why Trump is Winning